As many running backs from the talented 2017 draft class are starting to sign long-term contracts, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook have stolen the headlines as running backs next up for an extension. Chris Carson has been racking up the yards and touchdowns in the meantime, as the undrafted free agent from that season is due for a big extension himself.
Carson admitted there haven't been many talks about an extension with the Seattle Seahawks at this point, despite having the fifth-most rushing yards in the league over the past two seasons. Making just south of $2.15 million this season, Carson is willing to play the waiting game and increase his value.
"Of course it's something that's on my mind," Carson said Tuesday, via the Seahawks website. "You see a lot of guys starting to get paid, but I try to not let it distract me from the season.
"I'm paying attention to the other contracts. I mean, of course, that's just the NFL, you know what I'm saying. You see somebody get paid, your phone blows up. Everybody's hitting you up like 'Oh, did you see so-and-so get paid blah, blah, blah.' But like I said, I just try not to focus too much on it."
Carson's stats have been impressive since he emerged as the lead back in Seattle, quite the transition from a player who had to fight to make the Seahawks roster three seasons ago. Carson has rushed for 2,381 yards over the past two seasons. His 16 touchdowns are tied for 11th and his 4.54 yards per carry is fourth among running backs who have eclipsed 500 carries in that span.
Where Carson fits in terms of contract value is a mystery. Carson has been productive in Seattle, but has had two of his three seasons end prematurely on injured reserve and his running style allows him to take a pounding in the trenches. The production is there, but it's hard to see Carson receive a contract similar to the $12 million a season Joe Mixon earned this week.
Another 1,000-yard campaign would tip the scale in Carson's favor.